The Northern Pikeminnow Fishing Derby saw its most successful year yet with 152 participants that caught 2,336 fish for a total weight of 1,306.8 pounds.
The three-day derby gave those who registered the ability to fish for Pikeminnow on the mainstream of the Columba River from the Wanapum Dam to the Rock Island Dam.
Cody Schuyleman caught the biggest fish overall that measured 24.75 inches long and 6.5 pounds. William Peterson caught the largest fish in the kids category at 15 inches long and .95 pounds. Schuyleman earned $500 for his catch and Peterson earned $100.
The top five adults who caught the most fish in total pounds were:
Keith Allen - 119.05
Kevin Halbat - 85.2
John Godsey - 81.45
Alex Folden - 80.25
Cody Schuyleman - 78.8
The top five kids who caught the most fish in total pounds were:
Joseph Schuyleman - 2.7
Holden Flones - 2.45
Tommy Shaughnessy - 2.25
Longoria Drason - 1.55
William Peterson - .95
The winners each got first pick for prizes before the rest were raffled off. Prizes included an electric scooter, virtual reality set, fishing nets, hats, coolers, a depth finder and more. Morgan Moerey of Kirkland won the raffle for a Polaris Huntsman 4-wheeler and flatbed trailer.
Northern Pikeminnow eat millions of salmon and steelhead juveniles each year in the Columbia and Snake River systems. Because of this, the Pikeminnow Sport Reward Fishery Program, funded by the Bonneville Power Administration and administered by the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission, pays anglers for each Northern Pikeminnow that they catch that is nine inches or larger.
The goal of the program is not to eliminate Northern Pikeminnow, but rather to reduce the average size and curtail the number of larger, older fish. Rewards range from $5 to $8 per fish, and special tagged fish are worth $500.
The program operates from May 1 to Sept. 30, 2021 in the lower Columbia River (mouth to Priest Rapids Dam) and the Snake River (mouth to Hells Canyon Dam).
For more information visit: pikeminnow.org